Orr, Robert Thomas

ORR, Robert Thomas (1870-1957) of Stratford, Ont. was born in Downie Township on 28 October 1870, the son of Thomas Orr, a prominent builder, contractor and mill owner in Stratford. He was educated at the public school there and went into business with his father for several years until 1895 when he joined the Perth Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In 1902 he opened his own office as an insurance agent and architect in partnership with James S. Russell. Their partnership ended in 1908 and Orr devoted much of his time to civic and business matters. He was a founding member of the Stratford Parks Board and was instrumental in acquiring the riverfront site of the Dufton Mill property in 1925 for development as the Shakespearean Garden. The park, designed by Toronto landscape architect H. Dunington-Grubb, opened in 1936. Orr was also an authority on local history and founded the Stratford Historical Society in 1922. He died in Stratford on 11 March 1957 (obituary and port. in the Stratford Beacon-Herald, 11 March 1957; inf. from the Stratford-Perth Archives)


MOONEY BISCUIT & CANDY CO., Downie Street, factory, 1903 (C.R., xiii, 4 Feb. 1903, 2, t.c.)
WINDSOR HOTEL, Albert Street, major addition and alterations, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 22 July 1903, 1, t.c.; dwgs. at the Stratford-Perth Archives)
ST. PATRICK STREET, double house for Mrs. Jane F. Scholz, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 19 Aug. 1903, 3)
YOUNG MEN'S CHRSTIAN ASSOCIATION, Downie Street, c. 1904 (dwgs. at NAC, RG 30, 78903/42, sheets 592 to 598)
KINKORA, ONT., new sacristy and improvements to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, 1905 (C.R., xv, 25 Jan. 1905, 2)
STRATFORD WHOLESALE GROCERY CO., Downie Street at George Street, warehouse, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 31 May 1905, 2)
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, Well Street, 1905-06 (Catholic Record (London), 7 April 1906, 8 descrip.)
SHAKESPEAREAN GARDEN, Huron Street, Bird Tower, a conversion of the chimney ruin left after the fire at the Dufton Woolen Mill, 1925 (dwgs. at the Stratford Perth Archives)